Image Credit: KiwiDeaPi, CC BY-SA 3.0
It’s not often we can readily identify with movie scientists. Even if you are a biologist, the image of a handsome labcoat wearing genius scribbling equations on a perspex board isn’t something that many of us see ourselves in. My own experience with science consists more of wading through spreadsheets, poring over manuscripts and generally yelling at a computer screen seen through barely concealed tears of frustration.
But every now and then I stumble across something I very much recognise in an on-screen academic. On this particular occasion, said stumble occurred during a watch of The Relic, a 1997 monster movie set in the Chicago Field Museum. It was a welcome setting, given that I wrote my PhD while working at Trondheim’s Natural History Museum, and that Chicago’s Field Museum is potentially the best museum I’ve ever visited.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, image cropped with book title inserted
Over the last nine months, we’ve been joined on our biology/movie focused podcasts by some amazingly talented biologists to discuss some movies of immensely varying quality. So when my co-host Adam Hasik announced that he’d secured a science fiction writer as a guest, it was a chance to change pace and look at science from a plot perspective, rather than the other way around.